Well, boys and girls, now you can go to jail for being annoying

Yep. So says the US government. Good ol’ bastion of freedom.

Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

You’re facing fines and up to two years in prison for irritating other users of the Web, now. Huzzah! -_-

The idea is to stop spammers, but just HOW are they going to keep track what defines as “annoying”? Well, I guess the people who live off of suing people will be jumping in joy. Whee.

Edit: There, that better? Don’t wanna be annoying, after all.

…or for that matter, how are you to keep track of the person who sends it? WHAT IF THEY’RE IN NIGERIA?!! >.>

But god, this is just about the stupidest law I’ve ever heard of. -_-

So it is ok to annoy people if you give your name?

Yup. It’'s perfectly legal if you give your real name.

It’ll most likely only be used as a subsequent charge, not something to initially arrest someone for.

My name is Kenneth Lee Cummings.

<img src=“http://www.lotsa.org/pickle.jpg”><img src=“http://www.lotsa.org/pickle.jpg”><img src=“http://www.lotsa.org/pickle.jpg”><img src=“http://www.lotsa.org/pickle.jpg”><img src=“http://www.lotsa.org/pickle.jpg”>

You see, the problem with this law is that it’s misapplied.

It should be whoever I, personally, find annoying.

I can assure you, I’d put that law to good and fair use. With it, for example, we never would have had to worry about banning Uriel or BigNutter.

Good bye first amendment. It was nice knowing you.

How will they find out who you are if you don’t give your true identity?

And what Cavelcade said.

That’s a horribly biased and untrue characterization of what actually happened. It would seem better to blame the sponsors of the section governing cyberstalking. Or possibly the various other congressmen who voted to pass the bill without trying to amend it to take out such a ludicrous regulation. Hell, the article says the Senate voted unanimously and that the House did it by a simple voice vote. I guess it’s better to blame merely the person signing the bill into law despite the fact that if he had vetoed it, the bill would’ve become law anyway.

But hey. It’s George W. Bush, the source of all evil in the world; of course he’s at fault.

My name is Sean Rooney.

Holy shit, I saw this on my guild forums, and I thougt it was fake so I didn’t bother looking. Is this for real? O_o

It is quite real.

While unconstitutional, it was voted on by congress and signed, not veto’d, by the president. Once the bicameralism and presentment requirements are met, it’s law. The only way to strike it down now is to sue under it and you need to be ACTUALLY injured by the law first in order to do it. Even if no one sues and no one enforces it? It won’t be ‘struck down’, it’ll remain in the books.

So we won’t see the end of it for quite some while.

You’re quite lucky I don’t mind being corrected, or I would have had you arrested.

If I could. Bleh.

I stopped being surprised by your government a long while ago. At least I thought I had, before this.

Now lets be realistic: We can’t send Nutter to jail with this. Mainly because he lives in Britain, but even if he didn’t, I really doubt anyone would ever actually enforce this on a sole user. This is pointed towards punishing spam mail and trash. When… if some entity responsible for large amounts of junk is put on trial, this would serve as simply another weight to shift the balance against them like Dev said.

That being said, it’s still dumb.

Which is funny, cause the stupidest person signed it.

Screw that. I’m going to keep being annoying without giving out my identity. That’s what makes the internet fun!

I believe this law is being misrepresented. If it’s the anti-spam law that was passed several years ago, then the law protects users from obscene amounts, not just annoying pop ups but massive amount of spam. The law works through tracing back various spam messages and analyzing the volume of which the spam is sent out. I think, at least.

This law is done in the same right as the No-Call list that was passed several years ago as well that protects people from those irritating phone calls about long distance and cruises and such.

What I don’t understand is how this at all affects the first amendment and is in anyway unconstitutional. I find this law to be gratifying and am pretty thankful for it.

What if the offending person has multiple personality disorder…?

Not guilty by reason of insanity, I would presume.